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Salmonbellies spoil Burnaby Lakers' home opener with one-goal win

Season series between the two teams now 1-1.
Burnaby Lakers forward James Rahe surveys the floor during a June 2, 2022, matchup with the New Westminster Salmonbellies.

Burnaby Lakers lacrosse returned to Bill Copeland Arena on Friday (June 10), but it wasn't the ending they were hoping for. 

A back-and-forth game finished in a tough 8-7 loss to the Salmonbellies, not long after the Lakers beat New West 13-11 earlier this month. 

Then, on Sunday (June 12), the Lakers' losing streak hit three games with a 17-10 loss to the Maple Ridge Burrards. 

Burnaby sits last in the Western League Association (WLA) with a 1-4 record and a .200 win percentage through the first five games of the 2022 season. 

Burnaby launched its latest WLA campaign — B.C.'s highest level of competitive lacrosse — on May 28, suffering a one-goal loss (14-13) against the Coquitlam Adanacs at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex. 

In an earlier interview with the NOW, general manager Kevin Hill said despite the two-year stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the clubs management expectations were no different than any other season. 

"Myself and the coaches all have the same goals, having a good, productive season and making the playoffs. Once we make the playoffs, everyone knows anything can happen," he said. 

He noted this year is going to be different for the league as a whole, saying there is a "youth movement" which he expects to result in a fast-paced season. 

"I know the Lakers will be playing a fast style of game and with the group of players we have assembled, our future is bright." 

At 16 points each, forwards Toron Eccleston (nine goals and seven assists in five games) and Ryan Martel (seven goals and nine assists in three games) lead the Lakers in scoring to date.